In the image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and processed by Judy Schmidt (, you can see the sparkly irregular galaxy IC 4710 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock,, about 34 million light-years away from Earth.

The image is also showing some some foreground stars with nice diffraction spikes.

IC 4710 was discovered on August 18th, 1900, by the American astronomer DeLisle Stewart (

Take a look at the full-size version here:

Diffraction spikes

In the image you can see several stars with very pronounced spikes in the form of a cross. These spikes are called diffraction spikes and are caused by the struts that support Hubble’s secondary mirror ( The light is being diffracted around those support struts, generating the cross-formed spikes. They are only visible around point sources where a lot of light is concentrated in one small spot. Read more on it here:

Image credit: IC 4710 Judy Schmidt based on Hubble Space Telescope data by NASA/ESA CC BY 2.0

Take a look at more of Judy’s work here:

I recommend you take a look at her website and her Flickr to see more of the many beautiful images Judy processed.2514C278-BDCD-4D67-B94F-310391CCC12F

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s